Recently published results from a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll have revealed something obvious and astounding – we have a love/hate relationship with social media.

A group of over 1000 adults spanning age, race, gender and political ideologies overwhelmingly said that they held a negative view of the effects of social media on their lives. 57% believe that social media causes conflict and divide in our communities. 82% feel that social media use was a waste of their time. 55% say that social media is a collection of platforms that is exploited to spread lies.

But 70% of these folks readily admit to actively using social media each and every day.

To make matters more interesting, this daily usage appears to be significant. According to a Global Web Index study from Q3 2018, internet users are now spending an average of almost 2.5 hours per day on social media and messaging platforms. And when you further factor in the opportunity cost of not focusing on other things during that time, and the “distraction cost” of ostensibly having to repeatedly refocus after social media breaks to the task at hand, the bottom line is a very significant portion of our waking hours each day that is occupied by social media use. That’s a lot of time to spend with someone or something that most of us believe has a negative effect on our lives.

So the question then becomes – why? How can we possibly explain this paradox that is our love/hate relationship with social media?

The first and perhaps most obvious answer is the social media induced, world-wide epidemic of FOMO (“fear of missing out”). Many of us are constantly checking our social feeds so as not to miss out on the latest party, the newest hangout, the breaking news story or the flash sale at our favorite store. No matter how much we hate social media, the one thing we hate even more is being left out.

Which leads to a second, somewhat related theory. Social media has become a global standard in every aspect of our daily lives. You’d be hard pressed to find a news story that doesn’t at least reference – if not completely focus  on – a tweet or Facebook post. Presidents and Prime Ministers around the world use social media for important announcements, and virtually every adult in every developed country in the world has at least one social media account to their name. No matter how much we’d love to get rid of it on a personal level, the social media juggernaut has simply become mainstream, as ubiquitous as internet and phones. It’s a reality we’ve begrudgingly come to accept.

With all this in mind, it behooves us to make an important observation and distinction. It seems that our frustration with social media is rooted in our perception of social media and the role it plays in our lives. We all seem to agree on the fundamental importance of social media, but we are bothered that it has grown to become an uncontrollable obsession. We don’t want to live with it, but we can’t live without it. If only there was a way to put safeguards in place to strike and maintain a balance and retain the proper perspective on the role social media should play in our lives.

We believe the Cicero Digital Vault can address this issue.

From a very pragmatic perspective, our Digital Vault is a unique solution for backing up and protecting all our social media content in one convenient online location. While there is a clear value in this functionality, the Cicero Digital Vault also provides a very important auxiliary benefit.

By turning our social media into a quantifiable “content collection” with the Cicero Digital Vault, we can begin to flex our muscles of changing perception. With the Digital Vault, our social media experience goes from something that is seeming infinite and uncontrolled to a finite collection of important personal content, much like the photos on a mobile phone, documents in an inbox or socks in a sock drawer. Very important to be sure, but still something quantifiable that doesn’t need to completely take over our lives. By having full control over our social media, we just might begin to look at it differently.

Our social media is indeed a very important part of our lives. By protecting and taking control over it, you give yourself the flexibility and the opportunity to focus on the other important parts of our lives as well.

Join the Cicero Digital Vault today. You owe it to yourself.